OutRight Now: January 2022 Newsletter

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Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

The beginning of the year is often a time to reflect on the year passed. The pandemic, and the unequal access to vaccines, continue to present extraordinary challenges across the world, and across different communities, including for LGBTIQ people many of whom continued facing a crisis in 2021.

In spite of this, the vibrant LGBTIQ movement saw several important wins in 2021. Argentina enabled a third gender marker based on self-determination across all official documents. The U.S. followed suit with the first passport with an X gender marker. Botswana upheld a ruling decriminalizing same-sex relations. Chile became the 31st country to recognize equal marriage, and Canada became the sixth to ban so-called conversion therapy.

However, what sticks out even more is the backlash and attacks by conservative governments.

In Ghana, a law enhancing criminalization of same-sex relations and criminalizing advocacy for LGBTIQ equality was proposed; in Hungary promotion of information about LGBTIQ topics has been banned; in Poland a draft bill banning Pride manifestations is pending; and in Afghanistan LGBTIQ people, are a particular target of the Taliban regime, as documented by our most recent report.

Fighting for progress for LGBTIQ people is hard, and successes are easily overshadowed by setbacks and backlash, but we'll keep fighting in 2022, and every year after that. Thank you to all of you who support us in the continues fight!

Maria Sjödin
they or she pronouns
Acting Executive Director

  • OutRight released the report, "Even If You Go to the Skies, We’ll Find You": LGBT People in Afghanistan After the Taliban Takeover,  with Human Rights Watch.

    Many of the 60 interviewed LGBT Afghans reported that Taliban members attacked or threatened them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some fled their homes from attacks and others watched lives they had carefully built over the years disappear overnight.

    “We spoke with LGBT Afghans who have survived gang rape, mob attacks, or have been hunted by their own family members who joined the Taliban, and they have no hope that state institutions will protect them,” said J. Lester Feder, senior fellow for emergency research at OutRight.

  • OutRight’s staff have completed a report on the situation facing LBTQ women in Iraq. Stay tuned for the release in English and Arabic in early March!

Get to Know Us

Damon Clyde

Nokukhanya (Khanyo) Farisè

Khanyo (she/her) is a South African international human rights lawyer focused on equality, non-discrimination and access to justice in Africa. Khanyo recently joined OutRight as African Advocacy Officer. Khanyo has over 10 years’ experience working in regional and international organizations in a range of countries in Africa and Europe advancing the rule of law and human rights. When not working Khanyo enjoys going on adventures in new places, reading autobiographies and experimenting with different makeup techniques.


OutRight in the Media

  • The Associated Press interviewed OutRight’s Africa Program Coordinator, Yvonne Wamari about the legacy of the late South African civil rights activist, Desmond Tutu, in supporting LGBTIQ rights in Africa.
  • You can watch the press conference of the launch of the new report about LGBT People in Afghanistan.

Term of the Month


Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw coined the word in 1989. Intersectionality is an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person's social and political identities such as gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc. combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege.


  • Save the date for OutRight’s annual Gala, Celebration of Courage, which will take place at the TriBeCa Rooftop in New York City on 6 June, 2022. Stay tuned for sponsorship opportunities and ticket sales, and event information in months to come!


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Don't miss out on the opportunity to join our team! If you are interested or know someone who would be a great fit, apply here: https://outrightinternational.org/jobs.